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Match Reports

Preview: QPR v Albion

18 September 2013

Report: QPR 0 Albion 0

Defences were on top at Loftus Road as Albion held QPR to a goalless draw.

Following hot on the heels of Sunday's stalemate at Reading, Oscar Garcia’s side are now unbeaten in five games, with three of them coming on the road.

In a game of few openings neither side can complain with a point and both will be pleased to maintain their recent impressive defensive records; Harry Redknapp’s team have not conceded in five league games, whereas Albion have let in the one solitary strike in the same time frame.

The Seagulls threatened first as Keith Andrews drilled over early on before Joey Barton saw his tap-in correctly disallowed for an offside against Shaun Wright-Phillips.

An excellent challenge from Matthew Upson then denied Barton from capitalising on a defensive error but it was Charlie Austin’s aim that prevented QPR from taking the lead on the half-hour mark.

After rolling his man brilliantly the striker was unable to find the target, and Matt Phillips also failed to test Tomasz Kuszczak as he fired over three minutes later.

Andrews once again provided the threat for the Seagulls as his deflected strike from distance fell just wide of Rob Green’s post before Jake Forster-Caskey bundled home a minute later, although referee Andy Madley had already penalised Ashley Barnes for a push.

The home crowd rose on 43 minutes as the ball fell perfectly to Austin eight yards out, however under pressure from Andrews the striker pulled his shot wide - and the linesman’s flag also spared his blushes.

The striker almost made an immediate amends with a bullet header but Kuszczak was equal to it as the half ended goalless.

Barton’s quality on the pitch was evident, and it was the experienced midfielder who almost put the hosts ahead just after the interval. However his free-kick from 25 yards was brilliantly pushed around the post by Kuszczak.

A Forster-Caskey header lacked the necessary power to beat Green before Albion came within inches of falling behind.

Richard Dunne’s header looped over Kuszczak but in a panicked goalmouth, scramble the Seagulls' defence managed to hack the ball off the line.

Rangers went close again just a minute later as Barton’s deflected free-kick fell just inches wide with Albion’s Polish keeper beaten. Matt Phillips also tried his luck as the visitors asserted pressure on Oscar’s side.

The eagerly awaited return of Bruno came on 80 minutes as he replaced Stephen Ward but there was to be no late drama despite Clint Hill and Rohan Ince heading late halfchances over for either side.

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